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Bombay High Court Restrains Sale Of Raymond's Former Chairman - Vijaypat Singhania's Autobiography On Raymond's Plea

Sharmeen Hakim
5 Nov 2021 5:30 AM GMT
Bombay High Court Restrains Sale Of Raymonds Former Chairman - Vijaypat Singhanias Autobiography On Raymonds Plea
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The Bombay High Court on Thursday restrained further sale or distribution of former chairman emeritus of the Raymond Group - Dr Vijaypat Singhania's autobiography. Justice Surendra Tavade passed the interim order in a contempt petition by Raymond Limited, presently headed by Vijaypat's son - Gautam Singhania. The father-son duo is embroiled in a bitter battle years after the...

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The Bombay High Court on Thursday restrained further sale or distribution of former chairman emeritus of the Raymond Group - Dr Vijaypat Singhania's autobiography.

Justice Surendra Tavade passed the interim order in a contempt petition by Raymond Limited, presently headed by Vijaypat's son - Gautam Singhania. The father-son duo is embroiled in a bitter battle years after the octogenarian transferred Rs 1000 crore worth of shares to Gautam in the holding company in February 2015.

The petition under article 226, 227 of the Constitution was filed against Singhania, Macmillan Publishers India Private Limited and Amazon Indian Ltd alleging that the book was "surreptitiously" released on November 1, despite an injunction.

On Thursday, the HC restrained the respondents from further distributing the autobiography "An Incomplete Life," with any statements relating to the company till the pendency of an appeal filed in Thane.

"It appears that Respondent No. 3 has published autobiography in spite of injunction order passed against him. The said book is offered for sale through Amazon by digitally and by hard copy. The said action is required to be stopped because the injunction order is running against the Respondents. I am of the considered opinion that the further damage is required to be averted by issuing the injunction order as prayed for," Justice Tavade said in the order.

The court noted that in September 2018, Raymond filed a suit in the Thane court against Singhania and then publisher Penguin Random House. The suit sought a permanent injunction against Singhania from publishing his autobiography.

According to the plea, the autobiography infringes upon the company's right to privacy, defames the group, and discusses its business operations and other confidential information, further disparaging the tagline 'A complete man.'

The company alleged that the book seemed to contain information and details about the confidential arbitration proceedings and other ongoing legal proceedings between the petitioner's (Raymond) chairman Gautam Singhania and Vijaypat Singhania.

On April 17 2019, the trial court restrained Singhania and Penguin from publishing the book for a period of eight days. But the interim application came to be rejected.

The petitioner then challenged the order in 2019 before the District Judge who restrained Singhania and Penguin from publishing the book till the pendency of the appeal, on April 22, 2019.

The petitioners told the HC that the Thane court was closed for Diwali vacation, and therefore they were constrained to approach the HC directly.

In the order, Justice Tavade "restrained the Contemnors No. 2 – 3, their directors, employees, wholesalers, distributors... to cease and desist from inter alia advertising, displaying, writing, editing, printing, authoring, selling, offering for sale, further distribution, selling, or otherwise make available directly or indirectly the purported autobiography namely "An Incomplete Life" with any statements relating to the Petitioner(Raymond) pending the pendency of the appeal filed by the petitioner currently sub-judice before the Ld. District Judge, Thane."

Click Here To Read/ Download Order



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